25th Annual Tom Johnson Summer School begins today in Galway

Labour Youth
12 July 2019

The 25th Annual Tom Johnson Summer School, organised by Labour Youth, begins this evening 12th July in NUI Galway. Marking the centenary of the First Dáil the theme is “Defending Democracy” and will see a broad range of speakers and panellists engage with Labour members and activists in debating the burning issues of today..

Speaking ahead of the event, chair of Labour Youth, Patrick Ahern said:

“One hundred years ago the first Dáil approved the Democratic Programme drafted by Labour leader Tom Johnson. This weekend we gather in Galway for our 25th Annual summer school, named in his honour, to discuss, debate and plan for how to defend that same democracy he helped shape against the threats of climate change and the rise of the far right.

“We’ll also be discussing how to achieve the kind of Republic envisioned in the Democratic Programme with panels on topics including breaking the chains of poverty and combatting financial inequality, delivering healthcare for all, and protecting and enhancing workers rights.

“We’re delighted to welcome all our speakers and invited guests to Galway this weekend but especially two luminaries of the Labour movement in the UK and Ireland in the form of Diane Abbot as our keynote speaker; and Phil Ní Shéadghda to accept the Jim Kenny Thirst for Justice award on behalf of the INMO.”

Director of the Summer School, Alexander Walker said:

“I am extremely happy that working with my colleagues we have been able to assemble expert panels who will allow us to examine and discuss the issues that matter in Ireland today.

“We are also delighted to have the UK Labour Party Shadow Home Secretary, Diane Abbott MP attend today as our Keynote speaker as we mark two important anniversaries, 100 years since the publication of the Democratic Programme and 25 years since the first Tom Johnson Summer School.”


The full schedule is as follows:

The 25th Annual Tom Johnson Summer School

12th – 14th July, HBB building, NUI Galway

Welcome Address – Cllr. Níall McNelis.

Panel 1 – The Future of Workers’ Rights
Professor Rob Gilles, Professor of Economics, Queen’s University Belfast
Senator Ged Nash
Craig McHugh, Union of Students in Ireland
Anne Ryan, Basic Income Ireland

Keynote Address
Diane Abbott MP,  Shadow Home Secretary, UK Labour Party.

Saturday 13th July
Panel 2 -¡No Pasarán!: Fighting the Rise of the Far Right
Laura Harmon, National Women’s Council of Ireland
Miriam Mirwitch, Chair of Young Labour UK
Sinéad Nolan, Irish Council for Civil Liberties
Senator Aodhán Ó Ríordáin

Panel 3 – The Threat of Climate Chaos: Environmental Change for a Greener Future
Leontien Friel Darrell, Extinction Rebellion
Niamh Garvey, Trócaire
Dr. Aideen O’Dochartaigh, Not Here Not Anywhere
Alex White, former Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources

Panel 4 – Breaking the Chains of Poverty: Combatting Financial Inequality
Dr. Laura Bambrick, Irish Congress of Trade Unions
Senator Alice Mary Higgins
Hazel Nolan, GMB Scotland
Jack O’Connor, Chair of the Labour Party and former President SIPTU

Panel 5 – Healthcare For All?: Challenging Barriers to Access
Noah Halpin, This Is Me – Transgender Healthcare Campaign
Maria Ní Fhlatharta, Abortion Rights Campaign
Anne Waithira Burke, AkiDwa
Colm Walsh, Regional Drug and Alcohol Taskforce

Gala Dinner
The Connacht Hotel, Dublin Road, Galway
Speech by Party Leader Brendan Howlin TD, presentation of the Jim Kemmy Thirst for Justice Award to the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO), and address by Alexander Walker, Director of the Tom Johnson Summer School. Phil Ní Shéadghda will collect the Jim Kemmy Thirst for Justice Award on behalf of the INMO.

Sunday 14th July
Workshop: Running for Election
Sarah Dunne
Shane Folan
Cllr. Ciara Galvin
Cllr. Conor Sheehan

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